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is most preferred by their tongues ; there it is that they are daily laying up their treasure, and they must leave it at the parting hour, when they go naked out as they came naked in. • The love of deceitful riches choketh the word of God, and it withereth in them, and becometh unfruitful.' They go away sorrowful because of their beloved riches, when they should part with all for the hopes of heaven. Yea, though they are beggars, and never have a day's prosperity in the world, for all that they love it better than heaven, and desire that which they cannot get. Because they have not an eye of faith to see that better world which they neglect, they take it for an uncertain thing: nor are their carnal natures suitable to it, and therefore they mind it not. When an hypocrite is at the best, he is but a religious worldling: the world is nearer to his heart than God is, but pure religion keepeth a man unspotted of the world.'
XIX. 1. A confirmed Christian is one that still seeth the end in all that he doth, and that is before him in his way; and looketh not at things as at the present they seem or relish to the flesh, or to shortsighted men; but as they will appear and be judged of at last. The first letter maketh not the word, nor the first word the sentence, without the last. Present time is quickly past; and therefore he less regardeth what things seem at present, than what they will prove to all eternity. When temptations offer him a bait to sin, with the present profit, or pleasure, or honour, he seeth at once the final shame: he seeth all worldly things as they are
seen by a dying man, and as after the general conflagration they will be. He seeth the godly, in his adversity and patience, as entering into his Master's joys: he seeth the derided, vilified saint, as ready to stand justified by Christ at his right hand, and the lies of the malicious world as ready to cover themselves with shame. He seeth the wicked, in the height of their prosperity, as ready to be cut down and withered, and their flesh to turn to dust, and their souls to stand condemned by Christ at his left hand, and to hear, Go, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' Therefore it is that he valueth grace, because he knoweth what it will be; and therefore it is that he flieth from sin, because he knoweth the terrors of the Lord, and what it will prove to the sinner in the end; and how sinners themselves will curse the day that ever they did commit it, and wish, when it is too late, that they had chosen the holiness and patience of the saints. And therefore it is that he pitieth rather than envieth the prosperous enemies of the church, because he foreseeth what the end will be of them that obey not the gospel of Christ; and that if the righteous be scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear ? If the wicked unbelievers saw but the ending of all things as he doth, they would be all then of his mind and way.
This putteth so much life into his prayers, his obedience, and patience, because he seeth the end in all.
2. And the weakest Christian doth the same in the main, so far as to turn his heart from things temporal to things eternal ; and to resolve him in his main choice, and to conduct the course of his life towards heaven. But yet, in particular actions, he is often stopped in present things, and forgetfully loseth the sight of the end, and so is deluded and enticed into sin for want of seeing that which should have preserved him. He is like one that travelleth over hills and vallies, who, when he is upon the hills, doth see the place that he is going to, but, when he cometh into the vallies, it is out of his sight. Too oft doth the weak Christian think of things as they appear at the present, with little sense of the change that is near: when he seeth the baits of sin, whether riches, or beauty, or meat and drink, or any thing that is pleasing to the senses, the remembrance of the end doth not so quickly and powerfully work, to prevent his deceived imaginations, as it ought. And when poverty, or shame, or sufferings, or sickness, are presented to him, the foresight of the end is not so speedy and powerful in clearing his judgment, and settling his resolution, and preventing his misapprehension and trouble, as it ought. And hence come his oft mistakes and falls; and herein consisteth much of that foolishness, which he confesseth when repentance bringeth him to himself.
3. But the seeming Christian hath so dim and doubtful a foresight of the end, and it is so frequently out of his mind, that things present do carry away his heart, and have the greatest power and interest with him, and are most regarded and sought after in this life. For he is purblind, not
thing to be judged of men, whether they justify or condemn him; because they are fallible and have not the power of determining any thing to his great commodity or detriment, nor is it their judgment by which he stands or falls. He hath a more dreadful or comfortable judgment to prepare for: man is of small account with him in comparison with God.
2. And though with the weakest true Christian it is so also as to the predominancy of God's esteem and interest in him, yet is his weakness daily visible in the culpable effects. Though God have the chiefest place in his esteem, yet man hath much more than his due. The thoughts and words of men seem to such of far greater importance than they should. Praise and dispraise, favours and injuries, are things which affect their hearts too much : they bear not the contempts and wrongs of men with so quiet and satisfied a mind as beseemeth those that live upon God. They have so small experience of the comforts of God in Christ, that they are tasting deeper of other delights, and spare them not so easily as they ought to do. God, without friends, or house, or land, or maintenance, or esteem in the world, doth not fully quiet them; but there is a deal of peevish impatience left in their minds, though it doth not drive them away from God.
3. But the seeming Christian can better take up with the world alone than with God alone. God is not so much missed by him as the world : he always breaks with Christ when it cometh to forsaking all. He is godly, notionally and professedly,
and, therefore, may easily say that God is his portion, and enough for those that put their trust in him: but his heart never consented truly to reduce these words to practice. When it comes to the trial, the praise or dispraise of man, and the prosperity or matters of the world, do signify more with him than the favour or displeasure of God, and can do more with him. Christ, and riches, and esteem, he could be content with; but he cannot away with a naked Christ alone. Therefore he is indeed a practical atheist, even when he seemeth most religious : for if he had ever taken God for his God indeed, he had certainly taken him as his portion, felicity, and all ; and, therefore, as enough for him without the creature.
XXI. 1. From all this it followeth that a Christian indeed, hath, with himself, devoted all that he hath to God; and so all that he hath is sanctified. He is only in doubt oft times, in particular cases, what God would have him do with himself and his estate; but never in doubt whether they are to be wholly employed for God, in obedience to his will so far as he can know it: and, therefore, doth estimate every creature and condition purely as it relateth to God and life eternal. HOLINESS TO THE LORD, is written upon all that he hath and doth. He taketh it as sent from God; and useth it as his Master's goods and talents, not chiefly for himself, but for his Master's ends and will. God appeareth to him in the creature; and is the life, and sweetness, and glory of the creature to him. His first question in every business he undertaketh,